The Carnac stones are one of the most extensive Neolithic menhir collections in the world. The site is located around the French village of Carnac, in Brittany and consists of alignments, dolmens, tumuluses and single menhirs. The more than 3,000 prehistoric standing stones were hewn from local rock and erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany, and are the largest such collection in the world.
Local tradition claims that the reason they stand in such perfectly straight lines is that they are a Roman legion turned to stone by Merlin - Brittany has its own local versions of the Arthurian cycle. Most of the stones are within the French commune of Carnac, but some to the east are within La Trinité-sur-Mer.The stones were erected at some stage during the Neolithic period, probably around 3300 BC, but some may date to as old as 4500 BC.
In recent centuries, many of the sites have been neglected, with reports of dolmens being used as sheep shelters, chicken sheds or even ovens. Even more commonly, stones have been removed to make way for roads, or as building materials. The continuing management of the sites remains a controversial topic.